Oh, it's such a perfect day ...
What do you get when you mix a beautiful Saturday afternoon, a visiting food-loving Aussie (by way of London), and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge? With the proper catalyst (in this case, a Slice editor), your result is lunch at Grimaldi's Pizzeria.
Located at 19 Old Fulton Street, almost directly under the historic bridge, Grimaldi's is the place to stop for a post-journey meal (provided you walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn). And so it was with our weekend excursion to this coal-oven shop in the, uh, Brooklyn Heights? DUMBO? Vinegar Hill? section of the BK.
When you visit Grimaldi's, expect to wait on line* (see photo, right); reservations aren't accepted here. Don't worry: The queue moves quickly. We waited only ten or fifteen minutes. (You don't put your name in; the host asks how big your party is and then accommodates your group accordingly.)
After being seated at the red-checkered-tablecloth-bedecked table nearest the pizza oven, the three of us (Slice E&P Adam K., his friend L.W., and Aussie-on-holiday E.N.) settled on a large half-pepperonihalf-mushroom pie (see photo, above). As we waited for our food in the large yet cozyand very packeddining room, we pored over the framed photos of famous folk who have eaten there that adorn the walls. Not long after spotting Frank Sinatra and Bill Cosby, among others, our pizza arrived, steaming from oven temperatures easily in the range of 700 to 800 degrees.
It would have been difficult to surpass the quality and flavor of the first slice (from the pepperoni half) I ate. The crust was pleasingly chewy and crisp, the cheese is probably the best-quality fresh mozzarella in the city, and the pepperoni was spicy and top-notch.
Such was not the case with the second slice, this one from the mushroom half. Whereas the crust on the pepperoni slice held up fairly well (there was some sagging at the tip), that of the mushroom slice was disappointingly soggy with no discernable crispness whatsoever. I can't say whether this was the result of an inattentive pizziola failing to turn the pie for even cooking or whether it was just the crust reabsorbing steamy moisture from the hot sauce.
And now we segue to dessert. Just down the street from Grimaldi's is the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. On a nice day (or even a rotten one), you have to go there for dessert. (You don't have room for it after eating pizza? Pfft. It's ice cream. It melts around whatever's in your stomach.) Operating out of an old fireboat house on the Fulton Ferry Landing, the ice cream shop serves up a small range of dense, creamy, hard-packed ice creams.
You'll have to wait in line here, too, but, like the queue for pizza before, it moves fast. You can eat your icy treat while you take in views of Manhattan and/or wait for the NY Water Taxi, which you can take back to Manhattan, if that's where you need to go. But while you're in these parts, why not head up to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade? Just walk back up Old Fulton, take a right on Columbia Heights, and then watch for the promenade entrance on your right when you get to Orange Street.
Address: 19 Old Fulton Street
Payment Accepted: Cash only
MORE ON GRIMALDI'S
- Grimaldi's was featured on an episode of Law & Order.
- What Chowhound readers have to say about Grimaldi's.
- What the folks on eGullet are saying about Grimaldi's.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE GRIMALDI TRIP
* Being from the Midwest, I'd normally write (and say) "in line," but since this is a New York blog ...
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.